Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Black and White Cookies

Black and White Cookies
Adapted from Joy the Baker

This was my first time ever making black and white cookies. We've been regulars at Starbucks and every time we go I notice their packaged black and white cookies and how good they look. And on that note, I decided to get my butt in gear and try them for myself-- we all know packaged food is never as good as something fresh from the oven and baked from the heart (okay that was pretty cheesy, haha). I decided to go with a recipe from Joy the Baker because thus far everything I've ever made off of her website has been delicious, never a disappointment. She had this cookie listed under her top 10 favorite cookie recipes, so I figured it had to be good! And boy was she right, these cookies are moist, cakey and like nothing I've ever had before! These aren't in my top 10 favorite cookie recipes, these are definitely in my top 5! I feel like I made a earth shattering discovery, ridiculous I am!

What are you waiting for?! Try these.. now!!

Black and White Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg

Vanilla Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Teaspoon light corn syrup
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons hot water (I used more)

Chocolate Glaze
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup.
Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add eggs, beating until combined well. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down side of bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until smooth.
Spoon 1/4 cups of batter about 2 inches apart onto a buttered large baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack and chill (to cool quickly), about 5 minutes.

To make the glazes-

In a bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of corn syrup and 2 tablespoons hot water, until smooth.

In a separate bowl, melt the butter and the chocolate in a microwave for about 1 minute. Add the corn syrup and stir until smooth.

Once the cookies are cooled, face them all bottom side up of a clean surface. Spread half of the cookie with vanilla glaze and the other half with chocolate glaze. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to set.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Soft White Chocolate Chip Gingersnaps

Soft White Chocolate Chip Gingersnaps

Man, I feel like it's been forever since I've posted on here! Life has been a whirlwind the past month or so. We just moved in to our new house and this is my first time baking cookies in my brand new oven! It's my first convection oven and I was really looking forward to seeing how my first baked goods turned out. I assume it was a combination of the oven, recipe and my new air bake pans that this GEM of a cookie was born. I made these the other day and heard so many compliments that I decided this morning that I needed to post this recipe. It's my new go to recipe for gingersnaps. Let me say, gingersnaps, or spicy cookies in general aren't really my thing. But soft cookies are and so I figured I'd try these out, especially with Christmas right around the corner. I must say, these cookies are definitely on my top 5 best cookies I've ever had in my life. I suggest you try them whether you are a gingersnap buff or not! They are so soft with a nice mixture of spices. The white chocolate was the perfect add in creating pure bliss.

Soft White Chocolate Chip Gingersnaps

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 large eggs
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chunks

1 cup granulated sugar-for coating cookie dough balls

Preheat oven to Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment papers or with a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.

Beat in the molasses, canola oil, vanilla, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix until well combined.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth. Slowly add in the flour. Next, stir in the white chocolate chunks.

Scoop the dough into balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place on lined baking sheets, about two inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, the cookies will still be soft. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on the baking sheet for five minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Browneyedbaker

Yeah, another pumpkin recipe. What's wrong with me, haha? This was a NECESSARY post though as these are absolutely to DIE FOR. They are extremely addicting especially when just pulled out of the refrigerator. This is now my 'go to' pumpkin whoopie pie recipe. The texture was different, cakelike but brownielike. Definitely can't explain it.. but I can say you won't be disappointed.

I must also add that the maple-cream cheese frosting complimented the cookie very well, making the whoopie pie as a whole one of the most decadent desserts i've had in awhile. These will be made again and again..

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling

For the Whoopie Pies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 cups chilled pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Maple-Cream Cheese Filling:
3 cups powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, the dark brown sugar, and the oil together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.
Use a small cookie scoop or a large spoon to drop a rounded, heaping tablespoon of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, making sure that the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. The cookies should be firm when touched. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.

To make the filling, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth with no visible lumps, about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, then add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth.

To assemble the whoopie pies: Turn half of the cooled cookies upside down. Pipe or spoon the filling (about a tablespoon) onto that half. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spread to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm before serving.

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from Allrecipes

Welp, I figured it was that time again. Time for more pumpkin. The craving is still full-blown! I've made this pumpkin bread a couple of times in the past and everytime I do, I'm reminded why this is my go to for pumpkin bread. When I first located this recipe, I discovered it had over 3,000 reviews with a 5 out of 5 star rating. After seeing that, I figured it was a must try. And boy is it ever! It's quick and easy, dense and moist and so flavorful. Plus it gets better with age! I wouldn't eat it after a couple of days, mind you, but the bread is definitely at its prime the following day.

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
(Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine)

It has been like a month since I've posted (or what seems like). Either it's the embarrassment of posting more pumpkin recipes (nope, still not over pumpkin!) or the busyness of my life lately. As some of you know we are currently in the process of finding and buying the perfect house. Also hockey has started and we all know that consumes plenty of my time as well (not that I'm complaining!). Life in our household has been constantly on the go and I don't think I've ever appreciated being able to sit down for a couple of minutes like I do now!

This recipe caught my eye because it was on the front page of my Cooking Light magazine. Number one, for those of you who know me well, know I am ADDICTED to peanut butter-- even more so than pumpkin (IMAGINE THAT!). I also happen to adore banana bread, and bananas and peanut butter together. That right there explains why this recipe was a must try ASAP. 

The recipe itself didn't call for chocolate chips, but I figured, what could possibly make a peanut butter banana bread recipe even better? Well chocolate, of course! So it may add a couple extra calories to a low fat/calorie recipe but hey, in my opinion it was worth it.. though ultimately, the choice is yours!

This bread is moist and very flavorful. The glaze is delicious and I don't recommend going without it. I was so excited that it was made with more healthy ingredients and less fattening ingredients and felt the need to express this to Jeff as he sampled it last night. I exclaimed, "This banana bread only has 3 tablespoons of butter in the whole loaf!" His response? "Well then that means I'll be consuming about two tablespoons of butter because I will be finishing this off over the next few days" haha. And so this makes more sense-- there was 2/3 left after my mom, sisters and I sampled some of it before Jeff got his hands on it.

Definitely worth the post. That should say it all. Here's the beloved recipe-

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt (I used non-fat vanilla greek yogurt)
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (I used creamy Jif but you could use a chunky peanut butter and omit the chopped peanuts)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed (I substituted wheat germ)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice (I made this at my mom's and she didn't have allspice on hand so I ommited it)
2 tablespoons chopped dry-roasted peanuts (omit if using chunky peanut butter)
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (if desired)
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare bread, combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add granulated and brown sugars; beat until blended.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture;  just until blended. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips if using. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; cool.

To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk, and 1 tablespoon peanut butter in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle glaze over bread. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips if desired.

1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon 1% low-fat milk
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze
(Adapted from Sugarcrafter)

Don't Judge Me.
It just so happens the grocery store stocked their shelves with A COUPLE cans of pumpkin. It also just so happens I bought all of them. Okay, so I felt bad and left one can behind (is this cruel?). This means that after going through pumpkin withdrawal for approximately 24 hours (so what if I had pumpkin cream cheese on half of a whole wheat bagel-- which was to die for I might add) I was desperate for more pumpkin! This constant pumpkin desire is seasonal you know, so take advantage of these wonderful pumpkin recipes, because in a couple weeks I'll be over it and on to cutout cookies or fruitcake.. or something like that haha. But I am NOT making any promises;)

My taste buds desire pumpkin more than anything right now. And when I saw this recipe, I decided I must try it. I should also add that I haven't had the privilege of tasting it yet, but man does the house smell good! The crumbs that fell off when I transferred the cake to the cake carrier from the cooling rack were moist and soft. I might add that I will update this at the bottom once I actually taste the cake. If it was a total failure in taste it will be removed haha. So leave a 12 hour time period before you make this cake or until you get the okay that it passed the test. Just kidding, I'm sure it's splendid. And if it was a failure, it at least made my house smell scrumptious!

This recipe included a buttercream frosting, but I felt it would be even better with a cream cheese glaze. So I found a basic recipe and then I modified it a bit. And I did already do a taste test on the glaze-- I couldn't resist. It definitely passed the test and I feel that it will top this cake off.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom (I didn't have any so I omitted this)
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups pumpkin
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bundt pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.

In another medium bowl, mix together the pumpkin, milk, and vanilla.
Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add in the eggs one at a time.

Alternately add in the wet and dry ingredients, beating until the batter is smooth.

Pour the batter into the bundt pan, spreading evenly.

Bake 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes before inverting and removing the cake.  

Cream Cheese Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons of milk

Mix first four ingredients with blender then add milk and beat until smooth.

This was possibly one of the best bundt cakes I have ever eaten. It seriously melted in your mouth and had such wonderful flavor. It was less dense and more fluffy. Usually I'd go for a dense cake but this one 'takes the cake'!
I highly recommend this cake.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pumpkin Walnut Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting

Pumpkin Walnut Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting

I realize that:
1. This is my third post involving cookies
2. This is my second post out of the three involving pumpkin cookies

I am allll about pumpkin right now!! I'm sure it has to do with the WONDERFUL cool autumn-like weather we've been having the past few days.. goodbye tank tops, helllllllo sweaters! I promise that this is the last pumpkin cookie recipe I will be posting for awhile (probably). We just bombarded our house with pumpkin hand soaps in both of our bathrooms and at the kitchen sink. We also added a pumpkin 'wallflower' plug in, some pumpkin oil for the oil burner, and of course a pumpkin air freshener for my car. All compliments of Bath and Body Works. Yeah I sound pumpkin obsessed and pathetic right now. But mmm does it smell good here! So this is partly my excuse as to why I made more pumpkin cookies. Another reason was the last recipe only used up half of the can of pumpkin, which meant I had a cup of pumpkin left that I wouldn't even THINK about wasting.. especially considering canned pumpkin is extinct in this area!

These cookies are a bit more dense and a bit spicier than the other ones, and the brown butter frosting is absolutely to DIE for. I added walnuts to some, but omitted them in most of the cookies because most of the people I feed aren't fans of walnuts in cookies. You can't go wrong with these cookies. Not to mention they are from Magnolia's cookbook. That says enough right there. Enjoy these, I sure enjoyed my half.. and once again will enjoy my other half later this evening, haha.

Pumpkin Walnut Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (I omitted these)

2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Walnut Halves (I garnished about a 1/4 of the cookies)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To make the cookies:
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, allspice, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until evenly combined. Add the eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla, and beat well. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stir in the walnuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. The batter will seem extremely soft compared with most cookie doughs, but it will firm up during baking. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 10-12 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting:
Place the sugar, milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the butter until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add to the other ingredients, and beat until smooth and creamy. Cover until ready to use.
When cookies are completely cool, spread a generous amount of frosting on each cookie, and top with a walnut half. Let the icing set before stacking the cookies or they will stick together.